The Jackets secured a 35-10 victory of the Virginia Cavaliers on Homecoming and put forth arguably their best defensive effort of the season. For a summary of the first half, click here.
The Jackets opened up the second half with a 6:32 scoring drive led by Synjyn Days, who had a key 33-yard run to put Tech in Virginia territory. Days also converted a 4th and 1 a few players later, but barely – the ball was spotted a fraction of an inch past the first down. Said Synjyn of the conversion, “I think Justin actually pushed me over the line, so kudos to Justin who pushed me, a big guy, over the line.” Days finished with 147 yards and a TD on the ground, plus a 17-yard TD reception in what was one of the best games played by a Georgia Tech running back in recent memory.
On the following drive, UVA drove across midfield before KeShun Freeman deflected a pass and Adam Gotsis made a diving interception that brought the stadium to its feet. However, a costly chop block penalty stopped Tech’s drive in its tracks and the Jackets punted from their own 34. LB Beau Hankins made a great play in punt coverage to force the return for no gain.
UVA drove down to the GT10 thanks to a great pass by Lambert, but another pass deflection by Pat Gamble set up a 4th and 8. Jamal Golden answered the call when UVA went for it and made yet another fantastic interception in the endzone, in almost exactly the same location as his game-sealing pick vs. Miami. The Jackets took their 28-10 lead into the fourth quarter with the ball on their own 24.
Another Tech drive stalled, but kicker Ryan Rodwell boomed a 54-yard punt down to the UVA 17, pinning the Cavaliers deep with 14 minutes left in the game. UVA went three and out and punted again, this time for just 23 yards.
Synjyn Days capped off the following 37-yard, five minute drive with a 17-yard touchdown reception as Tech capitalized on the good field position. The Jackets extended their lead to 35-10 with just seven minutes left.
UVA drove yet again into GT territory but the defense forced a turnover on downs with under six minutes to go. Tim Byerly came in after that for cleanup duties and ran out the clock. He almost scored too – the offense got inside the ten before time expired.
For those worried about Pat Gamble’s injury, Paul Johnson reported that the initial x-rays came back as negative, which is a good sign. Gamble appears to have suffered a lower leg injury.
Among the statistical leaders for the Jackets, Days led all rushers with 147 yards, his second 100-yard game in a row. Snoddy added 52 more on the ground and did a good job as Justin’s primary target at A-back. DeAndre Smelter had his 4th 100-yard performance of the season, finishing the day with 107 yards and a touchdown.